Most Beautiful Books of 2021 – A Holiday Gift Guide

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Most Beautiful Books of 2021: A Holiday Gift Guide

Wow – I can’t believe its already time for my fifth annual holiday gift guide! This post is where I review the most beautifully designed books published during 2021, to help you find some treasures to share with your nearest and dearest, or to add to your own shelves.

The books are all listed below, loosely sorted by genre, and any book with a star () next to it is also visually reviewed in the video above. If I recommend a book in this list, you can rest assured it’s not just the physical beauty that counts – I do also read the books, and only include books where I think the contents are beautiful too  .

ISBNs and bookshop links are included below if you are interested in buying any of the books for yourself. Some of the links are affiliate links (thank you if you use them!) but do support your local bookstore if you can. If annual guides aren’t enough for you, I invite you to also check out my regularly updated lists of special editions, pre-order offers, and to subscribe to my occasional newsletter.

Children and the Young at Heart

lovett little mermaid
★ The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen, illustrated by Ashly Lovett. Eye of Newt, 1777081742.

An illustrated adaptation of the classic tales with haunting charcoal work for this classic tale. It closely follows the original tale with a reworked bittersweet ending. Ethereal and heartbreaking (in the best way). However, some may consider the illustrations too adult in style for young children. 

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes



★ The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen, illustrated by Lesley Barnes. Templar, 1787416887.

An enchanting pop-up book with the story retold for younger children. Magical and joyous.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes



★ The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Interactive Editions Series) by L. Frank Baum, illustrated by MinaLima. HarperCollins.

Vividly illustrated edition of the classic adventure with nine interactive features including removable green glasses, pop-ups and clickable silver shoes. Gorgeous and clever, as are all the books in this series.

Read more about MinaLima’s interactive children’s classics series here…

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes



★ Part of Your World (Collector’s Edition) (Disney: Twisted Tale) by Liz Braswell. Scholastic Australia. 1761201913.

Five years after the infamous sea witch defeated the little mermaid, Ariel is now the voiceless queen of Atlantica, while Ursula runs Prince Eric’s kingdom on land. But when Ariel discovers that her father might still be alive, she finds herself returning to a world-and a prince-she never imagined she would see again. This collector’s edition is an Australian hardback with new cover design and blue sprayed page edges.

→ Buy from Amazon AU 

→ Buy from Book Depository


★ The Sister Who Ate Her Brothers by Jen Campbell. Thames & Hudson, 0500652589

A collection of 14 gruesome fairy tales retold for children. Inclusive, untamed and delightful.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes



Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, illustrated by Grahame Baker-Smith. Templar, 9781787415607.

Rich and atmospheric anew illustrations for this classic tale. In series binding with The Wind in the Willlows by the same illustrator.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes



★ Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll, illustrated by Chris Riddell. Macmillan.

A delightful and prolifically illustrated companion volume for Riddell’s gorgeous Alice in Wonderland.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes



Beasts and Beauty by Soman Chainani, illustrated by Julia Iredale. HarperCollins.

Twelve dangerous tales of mystery, magic, and rebellious hearts, with black and white illustrations throughout.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes



★ Arthur the Always King by Kevin Crossley-Holland, illustrated by Chris Riddell. Walker Books.

A delightful picture book retelling of the classic Arthurian legends, profusely illustrated with beautiful watercolours and black & white sketches.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes



★ A Natural History of Magick (Folklore Field Guides) by Poppy David, illustrated by Jessica Roux. Frances Lincoln.

A sweet ‘history’ of magick (ostensibly written by Professor Conrad Gessner for his grandson) with detailed sketches and information and a gold foil–embossed cloth cover, ribbon marker and sprayed gold edges.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes



The Beatryce Prophecy (Gift Edition) by Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by Sophie Blackall. Candlewick, 1536218677.

In a time of war, a mysterious child appears at the monastery of the Order of the Chronicles of Sorrowing. This gift edition is packaged in a keepsake box with a ribbon enclosure, with exclusive full-color piece of artwork, decorated scroll and a bonus illustrated story.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository


★ The Red Gloves and other stories by Catherine Fisher. Firefly Press.

A spooky collection of tales concerning myth, folklore and magic. First editions have red sprayed page edges.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes



Julia and the Shark by Kiran Millwood Hargrave, illustrated by Tom de Freston. Orion.

Julia has followed her mum and dad to live on a remote island for the summer. But when her mother’s obsession finding the elusive Greenland shark threatens to submerge them all, Julia finds herself on an adventure with dark depths and a lighthouse full of hope. Standard editions feature black and yellow illustrations in a deluxe hardback with tracing paper inserts

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes


★ Together by Luke Adam Hawker. Kyle Books.

An achingly emotional ad ageless life story seen through the eyes of a man and his dog.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes



Journey to the River Sea (Illustrated edition) by Eva Ibbotson, illustrated by Katie Hickey. Macmillan.

20th anniversary edition to celebrate this joyous Amazon adventure set in the lush nature of Brazil. Fully illustrated UK hardback edition.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes


★ Harry Potter: A Magical Year by Jim Kay. Scholastic (US) / Bloomsbury (UK)

Gorgeous artwork from the illustrated Harry Potter books including sketches and full color spreads.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes



There’s A Ghost in this House by Oliver Jeffers. HarperCollins/Penguin.

A sweet picture book with interactive, transparent pages about a girl who lives in a haunted house.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes



The Macmillan Fairy Tales Collection by Macmillan Children’s Books

A beautiful hardback treasury, containing classic fairy tales from around the world with golden age illustrations. Foiled cut-through cover, gold foiled edges and a ribbon marker.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes



★ The Hatmakers by Tamzin Merchant, illustrated by Paola Escobar. Norton.

An enchanting fantasy adventure about the importance of bravery, resourcefulness, and following your heart, with a hidden illustrated cover.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes



Einstein the Penguin by Iona Rangeley, illustrated by David Tazzyman. HarperCollins.

When the Stewarts spend a sunny, frosty December day at London Zoo, they’re enchanted by one small penguin. At the delight of young Imogen and Arthur, Mrs Stewart insists the penguin “must come and stay with them whenever he likes.” But not one Stewart expects the penguin to turn up at their door that evening, rucksack labelled “Einstein” on his back…

→ Indies exclusive has orange sprayed page edges at UK bookshops.

→ Buy standard edition from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository


★ Once There Was a Bear (Winnie-the-Pooh) by Jane Riordan. HarperCollins.

In honour of the 95th anniversary of Winnie-the-Pooh,  Riordan has created a collection of stories, written in the style of A.A.Milne, that take us back to where it all began, when Winnie-the-Pooh was first purchased for baby Christopher Robin.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes



★ Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Interactive) by JK Rowling, illustrated by MinaLima. Scholastic/Bloomsbury

Dazzling edition with beautiful full color illustrations and eight interactive paper craft elements.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes



Grimwood by Nadia Shireen. Simon & Schuster.

Two runaway foxes and a ferocious street-cat called Princess Buttons find a wild wood packed full of weird animal characters.

Waterstones exclusive: UK hardback with blue sprayed page edges featuring googly eyes stencilled on the side.

→ Buy sprayed edges edition at Waterstones (limited supply)

→ Buy standard edition from Amazon

→ Buy standard edition from Book Depository


★ The Book That Did Not Want to be Read by David Sundin. Puffin.

A delightful and entertaining picture book that plays with words and pictures and breaks the fourth wall.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes



★ Cold Hearted by Serena Valentino. Disney-Hyperion.

A Cinderella backstory which explores how her stepmother was forced by fairy fate into the stereotyped role. Hidden cover underneath the dust jacket.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes



★ The False Rose (Murderer’s Ape #3) by Jakob Wegelius. Pushkin.

When Sally Jones and The Chief discover a curious rose-shaped necklace hidden onboard their beloved Hudson Queen, it’s the start of another perilous adventure for the seafaring gorilla and her faithful friend. A delightful adventure with pen and ink illustrations.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes



The Velveteen Rabbit (100th Anniversary) by Margery Williams, illustrated by William Nicholson. Little Sparrow.

A heartwarming picture book classic about a beloved toy rabbit. This anniversary edition includes the original illustrations and an introduction by Matthew Kelly. 

→ Buy from Amazon


★ How Life on Earth Began by Aina Bestard. Thames Hudson.

A fascinating and cleverly designed book, in which lifting the tracing paper pages is designed to peel back the layers of history, allowing readers to compare animals living in prehistoric landscapes with the fossils they left behind.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes



A History of the World in 25 Cities by the British Museum

A fascinatingly illustrated book of city maps, telling the story of human civilisation throughout history.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes



Curious About Crocodiles by Owen Davey. Flying Eye.

The seventh entry in illustrator Owen Davey’s award-winning “About Animals” series, this one focuses on different species of crocs, gators, caimans, and gharials, depicted in Davey’s signature design-oriented, colorful, minimalist style.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes



★ The Sky by Helene Druvert and Juliette Einhorn. Thames Hudson.

Clever laser cutouts take readers on a soaraway journey through birds in the clouds, through the atmosphere and to the planets, the stars and beyond. Maybe aimed more at adults than children.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes



Sunday Fun Day by Katherine Halligan. National Trust.

Fun, illustrated nature activities for every weekend of the year – helpful to inspire kids to choose family activities.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes



★ Unicorns, Myths and Monsters by May Shaw. Michael O’Mara.

A collection of illustrated stories of unicorns, dragons, phoenixes, kraken and other magical creatures.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes



★ Dinosaurs by Anusuya Chinsamy-Turan and Angela Rizza, illustrated by Daniel Long.

A beautifully illustrated dinosaur book with each species featuring a fossil photograph, beautiful illustration, and associated story.

Others in the series include Mysteries of the Universe, Wonders of Nature, and Intriguing Animals.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes



★ Oceanarium (Welcome to the Museum) by Loveday Trinick, illustrated by Teagan White. Templar.

A gorgeous oversized exploration of the underwater world with intricate artwork and expert text from the UK’s National Marine Aquarium. There are several amazing volumes in this series.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes



★ Scissorella by Helen Welsh, illustrated by Laura Barrett. Andersen Press.

A feminist Cinderella meets paper-cutting, in this story based on the life and work of German film director Lotte Reiniger.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes



Myths & Legends

Greek Mythology by Liv Albert, illustrated by Sara Richard
Published, ISBN

Gorgeously illustrated backstories of the heroes, villains, gods, and goddesses of Greek myths and legends.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes



★ Elegant Spirits by Yoshitaka Amano. Dark Horse Comics.

Ancient treasures of literature and legend are evocatively illustrated through Amano’s paintings and illustrations (artist of the Final Fantasy game series).

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes



 Medusa by Jessie Burton. Bloomsbury.

A bright feminist retelling of the famous Greek myth with stunning illustrations.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes



★ Faeries of the Faultlines by Iris Complet. Eye of Newt.

Gorgeous Froud-like illustrations grace this compendium of stories on faeries from greenmen to mermaids.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes



 Troy: The Greek Myths Reimagined by Stephen Fry. Chronicle.

The epic battle retold by Fry with humor and drama, accompanied with full-color artwork. In series with Mythos and Heroes.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes



 Greek Myths by Charlotte Higgins, illustrated by Chris Ofili. Vintage.

A new retelling of the classics Greek myths of Athena, Helen, Circe and Penelope, recounted as if they were scenes being woven into textiles by the women who feature in them.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes



★ The Annotated Arabian Nights translated by Yasmine Seale. Liveright.

Original translations of the most important stories from both Arabic and French, including “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves” and the voyages of Sinbad, with 300 historical and contemporary illustrations and artwork from around the world.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes



★ The Book of the Raven by Angus Hyland. Laurence King.

A beautifully designed book that showcases the visual and literary life of the corvid, from Norse legends to Game of Thrones.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes



 Storyland by Amy Jeffs. Quercus.

A new mythology of Britain with retellings embellished with stunning artworks.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes



★ East of the Sun, West of the Moon by Jackie Morris. Unbound.

A beautiful pocket format version of Jackie’s original picture book. In series with The Wild Swans.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes



★ The Wild Swans by Jackie Morris. Unbound.

A lyrical extended retelling of Andersen’s fairy tale accompanied by delicate watercolour paintings.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes



★ Russian Tales by Dinara Mirtalipova. Chronicle.

A gorgeous collection of Russian folktales with whimsical, enchanting folk art illustrations.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes



★ Norse Myths by Matt Ralphs, illustrated by Katie Ponder. DK.

Retells Viking mythology with gorgeous and profuse illustrations.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes



Classics Series

Classic novels are often regularly released by publishers in a series binding. I’ve listed below several series that are currently releasing new titles where I think they have something special to make them worth collecting.


★ Beehive Books Illuminated Editions by Various Authors and Illustrators
Beehive Books

A collection of beautifully produced oversized (9″x12″) luxury classic fiction editions – clothbound with contemporary illustrators and presented in elaborately decorative slipcases. 

Read more about collecting the whole Beehive Illuminated Editions series here…

The books are first released via Kickstarter (which includes signed and limited options) and then to the trade market.

Buy Crime and Punishment from Amazon Book Depository | Blackwells | Beehive Books
Buy The Blazing World from Amazon Book Depository | Blackwells | Beehive Books


★ Chiltern Classics series by Various Authors
Chiltern Publishing

Beautifully designed small format editions of classic novels with textured covers and gilt edges.

Read more about collecting the whole Chiltern Classics series here…

2021 releases are linked below:

→ Buy The Picture of Dorian Gray from Book Depository | Amazon
→ Buy The House of the Baskervilles from Book Depository | Amazon
→ Buy Tess of the D’Urbervilles from Book Depository | Amazon
→ Buy Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland from Book Depository | Amazon
→ Buy Moby Dick from Book Depository | Amazon
→ Buy Madame Bovary from Book Depository | Amazon
→ Buy Dracula from Book Depository | Amazon
→ Buy A Christmas Carol from Book Depository | Amazon


★ Marjolein Bastin Classics by Various Authors, illustrated by Marjolein Bastin
Beehive Books

A collection of paperbound hardback English classics with removable letters and ephemera to enjoy along with the book. 

Read more about collecting the Marjolein Bastin Classics series here…

Buy Sense and Sensibility from Amazon | Book Depository
Buy Wuthering Heights from Amazon | Book Depository


★ Seasons Editions by Various Authors
Thomas Nelson Publishing

A collection of lovely editions of classics grouped by the seasonal setting, with laser-cut jackets over a textured book case with foil stamping, limited to 10,000 copies, each is individually numbered. 

Read more about collecting the whole Seasons Editions series here

The Spring and Winter series books also come with a bonus laser-cut bookmark.

Seasons Editions – Spring Series

Buy Emma from Amazon | Book Depository | AbeBooks
Buy Sherlock Holmes from Amazon | Book Depository | AbeBooks
→ Buy Hunchback of Notre Dame from Amazon | Book Depository | AbeBooks
Buy Secret Garden from Amazon | Book Depository | AbeBooks

Seasons Editions – Fall Series

Buy Sense and Sensibility from Amazon | Book Depository | BookShop.org | AbeBooks
Buy Anne of Green Gables from Amazon | Book Depository | BookShop.org | AbeBooks
Buy Shakespeare in Autumn from Amazon | Book Depository | BookShop.org | AbeBooks
Buy Dracula from Amazon | Book Depository | BookShop.org | AbeBooks


Penguin Classics by Various Authors
Penguin

Penguin’s famous clothbound classics collection which feature pretty patterned covers by Coralie Bickford-Smith.

Read more about collecting the whole Penguin Clothbound Classics series here…

This year’s crop includes:

Buy Nineteen Eighty-Four from AmazonBook Depository

Buy Animal Farm from Amazon | Book Depository

→ Buy Monkey King from Amazon | Book Depository

Buy The Lonely Londoners from Amazon | Book Depository

Buy The Little Prince from AmazonBook Depository

Buy The Aeneid from AmazonBook Depository

Buy Around the World in 80 Days from AmazonBook Depository

Buy The Penguin Book of Christmas Stories from AmazonBook Depository


Fiction

★ Little Women (Lettered Edition) by Louisa May Alcott, edited by Barbara Heller. Chronicle Books.

Includes the full text of Little Women, plus gorgeous, removable replicas of the characters’ letters and other writings.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes



★ Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe, Illustrated by Robert Ingpen. Welbeck/Walker Books Australia.

Beautiful watercolours accompany this classic tale in which young, impulsive, Robinson defies the advice of his parents and runs away to sea where he is plagued by misfortune at every turn.

→ Buy from Amazon | Amazon AU

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes



★ Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift, illustrated by Robert Ingpen. Welbeck/Walker Books Australia.

A beautifully illustrated edition of the classic story in which a ship’s surgeon sets off on the high seas in search of adventure.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes



Cloud Cuckoo Land (LE) by Anthony Doerr

HarperCollins. Sep 28, 2021

Historical/contemporary fiction.

Follows three storylines all connected by a mysterious text: Anna and Omeir, on opposite sides of the formidable city wall during the 1453 siege of Constantinople; teenage idealist Seymour and gentle octogenarian Zeno, in an attack on a public library in present day Idaho; and Konstance, on an interstellar ship bound for a distant exoplanet, decades from now.

Waterstones exclusive: UK hardback with bonus Q&A

Find it at Waterstones

B&N exclusive: US hardback with bonus essay by the author

Find it at Barnes & Noble

★ Bonus: a signed exclusive B&N edition is also available

B&N Collector’s Edition: US hardback with full cloth binding, gold stamping on the cover and spine, gold end-papers and a navy blue ribbon marker

Find it at Barnes & Noble


The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, illustrated by Adam Simpson. Black Dog & Leventhal.

A beautifully illustrated version of the classic novel.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes



How to Kill Your Family by Bella Mackie

HarperCollins.

A scorching black satire of family dysfunction and the media’s obsession with murder, as the engaging anti-hero Grace reveals the full extent of her gleeful homicidal spree.

Waterstones exclusive: Signed UK hardback with alternate cover and pink sprayed page edges.

Find it at Waterstones

➤ Unsigned exclusive edition also available at Waterstones


★ Animal Farm by George Orwell, illustrated by Chris Mould. Faber.

The classic story of revolution with exciting new illustrations by Chris Mould.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes



If We Were Villains by M. L. Rio. Titan.

A murder mystery surrounding Oliver Marks, a former actor at the fictional Dellecher Shakespeare conservatory. This special edition (first published in 2017) is signed by the author, with black sprayed page edges and a new author introduction.

Find it at Amazon | Book Depository | Waterstones


Alternatively, see the original 2017 edition (FlatIron, deckle edge) at Amazon | Amazon AU | Book Depository.


 They Both Die at the End [Collector’s Edition] by Adam Silvera. Simon & Schuster. 

Discovering they have less than 24 hours to live, two young strangers embark on an adventure of a life-time – within the confines of one day. This collector’s edition has a foiled dust jacket, with bonus material including an interview between Adam Silvera and Nicola Yoon.

➤ Find it at Amazon | Amazon AU | Book Depository | Waterstones | Blackwells

★ Signed copies at Waterstones while stocks last


The Marlow Murder Club by Robert Thorogood. Harper Collins. 

A trio of unlikely provincial detectives are determined to bring a brutal killer to justice in this fun murder mystery. This Waterstones exclusive paperback has a ‘murder’ crossword printed on red sprayed page edges.

Find it at Waterstones


Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti, illustrated by Georgie McAusland. Batsford. 

A gorgeously illustrated edition of Rossetti’s poem about Lizzie and Laura, who are tempted by the fruit sold by the goblin merchants.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes


The Owl and the Nightingale by Simon Armitage, illustrated by Clive Hicks-Jenkins. Faber. 

A Middle English tale about a battle between the two title birds, that is simultaneously eloquent, philosophical and ridiculous. The verse is enlivened with decorative initials, as well as several full page illustrations by Clive Hicks-Jenkins.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes


Fantasy & Science Fiction

 Rivers of London [Anniversary Edition] by Ben Aaronovitch. Orion.

Peter Grant is a probationary constable in the Metropolitan Police Service, until he tries to take a witness statement from a man who is already dead. This 10th anniversary edition has four illustrations, a new map, illustrated endpapers, and a new introduction from the author.

Find it at Amazon | Book Depository


Lady Midnight (Anniversary Edition) (Shadowhunters Dark Artifices #1) by Cassandra Clare. Simon & Schuster. 

In a secret world where half-angel warriors are sworn to fight demons, parabatai are partners in battle; best friends. Parabatai can be everything to each other – but they can never fall in love. This anniversary edition has bonus material and new introduction by the author.

Find it at Amazon | Book Depository


Levithan Wakes (10th Anniversary Edition) by James A Corey. Orbit.

The first book in the space opera series which introduces a captain, his crew, and a detective as they unravel a horrifying solar system wide conspiracy that begins with a single missing girl. This anniversary edition has new cover art on a reversible dust jacket that features the original art on the other side, foiled design on the boards, magenta sprayed page edges, illustrated endpapers.

Find it at Amazon | Book Depository


★ Wika by Thomas Day. Titan Comics.

Classic fairy tales rewritten in a lush baroque-style fantasy graphic novel.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes



★ Dune (SF Masterworks) by Frank Herbert. Orion.

The classic sand-blasted epic that details the internecine battles for control of the desert planet Arrakis and its precious resource, ‘spice’. The SF Masterworks edition is new with an introduction by Hari Junzru , but Waterstones has a special exclusive edition with purple stencilled edges that match the cover.

Find it at Waterstones


Alternatively, see the standard UK edition (Orion) at Amazon | Book Depository; and standard US edition (St Martin’s Press, deckle edge) at Amazon | Book Depository


Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff, illustrated by Bon Orthwick

HarperCollins (UK); St Martin’s (US). Sep 1, 2021

Dark fantasy.

Gabriel de León, is the last of the Silversaints, a holy order dedicated to defending realm and church from the vampiric “coldbloods”, and he has been imprisoned for the murder of the vampiric king.

Features: B&N special edition has an alternate red dust jacket, the EotV roundup has all the details.

Find UK edition at  Amazon | Amazon AU | Book Depository | Waterstones | Blackwells

Find US edition at Amazon | Book Depository | Indie Bookstores | Blackwells

Find B&N collector’s edition at Barnes & Noble

★ See more editions in my Empire of the Vampire special editions roundup


Midnight in Everwood by M. A. Kuzniar

HarperCollins. Oct 14, 2021

Speculative fiction.

A gothic twist on the story of the Nutcracker.

Waterstones special edition: HarperCollins. UK hardback edition with blue tree trunks stencilled over navy sprayed page edges.

Find it at Waterstones

Independent Bookstore special edition: UK hardback edition, signed by the author with a gold foil ballerina on the case under the dust jacket.

Find it at Blackwells


Alternatively, see the standard UK edition (HarperCollins) at Amazon | Book Depository; and standard US edition (HQ) at Amazon.


★ At the Mountains of Madness Vols I & II by HP Lovecraft, illustrated by François Baranger. Design Studio Press

Stunning oversized volumes illustrated with fantastical and gorgeous alien landscapes. Also in the series is The Call of Cthulhu.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes



Gwelf: The Survival Guide by Larry Macdougall. Eye of Newt.

A gorgeously illustrated, magical fantasy world. (Complete with double page foldout and an adorable town bookshop.)

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes


The Song of Achilles [10th Anniversary] by Madeline Miller

Bloomsbury. Sep 2, 2021.

Myth retelling.

A captivating retelling of the Iliad

10th Anniversary Special Edition:Naked’ UK hardback edition with a decorative gilded cover redesign, patterned endpages, and a new foreword by the author.

Find it at Amazon | Amazon AU | Book Depository | WaterstonesBlackwells


 Sabriel (25th Anniversary) by Garth Nix

Allen & Unwin (Aus), . Aug 5, 2021

Mystery.

Sabriel must cross over into the Old Kingdom to find her missing father, the Mage Abhorsen. 

Anniversary editions: All editions have exclusive artwork and additional content. Australian edition has an exclusive cover, while US and UK editions reproduce the first edition artwork by the Dillons.

Find Australian edition at Amazon AU | Book Depository

➤ Find US edition at Amazon | Book Depository

➤ Find UK edition at Amazon | Book Depository


 Lyra’s Oxford, Illustrated Edition (His Dark Materials) by Philip Pullman, illustrated by Chris Wormell

Transworld. Oct 14, 2021

Fantasy novella.

A novella set two years after the events of His Dark Materials.

Illustrated edition: UK oversized hardback edition.

→ Buy from Amazon 

→ Buy from Book Depository 

→ Buy from Waterstones 

→ Buy from Blackwells


★ The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman, illustrated by Chris Wormell. Scholastic.

A beautiful companion
to the illustrated gift hardback edition of Northern Lights (this is the UK edition, presumably a US one will follow.)

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes



The Witcher: The Last Wish (illustrated edition) by Andrezej Sapkowski

Orbit. Dec 14, 2021.

Illustrated fantasy novel.

Geralt is a Witcher, a man whose magic powers, enhanced by long training and a mysterious elixir, have made him a brilliant fighter and a merciless assassin. Yet he is no ordinary killer. His sole purpose: to destroy the monsters that plague the world.

Illustrated edition: US hardback with seven illustrations from different artists, one for each story in the collection of adventures.

Find it at Amazon | Book Depository


The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab

Titan (UK); Tor (US). Oct 6, 2021.

Fantasy.

France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever—and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.

Collector’s Edition: New cover designs (US is blue, B&N special ed is red), new artwork, gold ribbon bookmark. US editions have a special note from the author. All first printings of UK hardbacks are signed, with forget-me-nots sprayed on the page edges.

Find UK collector’s edition at Amazon | Book Depository | Waterstones | Blackwells

Find US collector’s edition at Amazon | Book Depository | Indie Bookstores | Blackwells

Find B&N collector’s edition at Barnes & Noble

★ See more editions in my Addie LaRue special editions roundup

 Dracula (Deluxe Edition) by Bram Stoker, illustrated by Edward Gorey, introduced by Marvin Kaye

Sterling. Nov 23, 2021.

Historical fantasy.

A collector’s edition of the most famous vampire novel of all time, illustrated with 2-color artwork Edward Gorey created for his stage designs for the novel’s Broadway stage adaptation. 

Deluxe edition: US hardback with bat sprayed page edges.

Find it at Amazon | Amazon AU | Book Depository


Pictures by JRR Tolkien edited by Christopher Tolkien

Mariner Books. Nov 16, 2021.

Fantasy art book.

First published more than forty years ago, Pictures by J.R.R. Tolkien brings together sketches and pictures by Tolkien that appeared in the official calendars published in the 1970s.

Deluxe edition: Housed in an Illustrated slipcase.

Find it at Amazon | Amazon AU | Book Depository


The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien

Mariner. Nov 2, 2021

Epic fantasy.

A new hardcover edition illustrated with the art created by Tolkien himself as he envisioned Middle-earth. Contains the complete text, fully corrected and reset, printed in red and black, with thirty colour illustrations, maps and sketches drawn by Tolkien himself as he composed this epic work.

Illustrated edition: UK hardback with white elvish script stencilled on red page edges. Includes 30 plates and 2 fold-out maps, with the text printed in two colours.

Find it at Amazon | Amazon AU | Book Depository | Blackwells


The City of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Weidenfeld & Nicolson. Nov 11, 2021.

Speculative fiction.

A collection of short stories from the much missed author of The Shadow of the Wind.

Waterstones exclusive: UK hardback with bonus introduction by David Mitchell.

Find it at Waterstones


Alternatively, see the standard UK edition at Amazon | Book Depository; and standard US edition (Harper) at Amazon | Book Depository


Non-Fiction & Reference

Penguin Modern Classics Book by Henry Eliot. Penguin.

Cover art, background stories, lists and book descriptions covering six decades of the Penguin Modern Classics range. A companion volume to the Penguin Classics Book.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes



Tarot and Divination Cards by Laetitia Barbier. Abrams.

A close look at 500 years of figurative card decks created or used for fortune telling, divinations, and oracle purposes, and explores, one card at the time, their iconographic roots.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes



Atlas of Imagined Places by Matt Brown. Pavilion Books.

An atlas of imagined places that include locations from film, tv, literature, myths, comics and video games which are plotted in a series of beautiful vintage-style maps.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes



A Year Unfolding by Angela Harding
Published, ISBN

A beautifully illustrated guide to nature through the seasons by much-loved printmaker Angela Harding. First edition covers have a triptych printed on the reverse for collectors of Angela’s gorgeous work.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes



The Devil’s Atlas by Edward Brooke-Hitching. Simon & Schuster.

An illustrated guide to the heavens, hells and lands of the dead as imagined throughout history by cultures and religions around the world.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes



Immune by Philipp Dettmer. Random House.

A fascinating and beautifully illustrated deep dive into the immune system.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes



★ Around the World in 80 Plants by Jonathan Drori, illustrated by Lucille Clerc. Laurence King.

Drori takes a trip across the globe to bring to life the science of plants by revealing how their worlds are intricately entwined with our own history, culture and folklore.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes



★ The Illustrated Letters of the Brontes by Juliet Gardiner
Published, ISBN

Excerpts of letters and sketches that tell the story both of the real world of the Brontës at Haworth Parsonage, their home on the edge of the lonely Yorkshire moors, and of the imaginary worlds they spun for themselves in their novels and poetry.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes



The Comfort Book [Special Winter Gift Edition] by Matt Haig

Canongate. Oct 28, 2021.

A collection of essays that include Reflections on hope, survival and the messy miracle of being alive. This special gift edition has an exclusive cover with a bonus chapter on finding the light side of the darkest days of the year.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository


★ The Curious Reader by Mental Floss, illustrated by Margaux Kent. Weldon Owen.

Gorgeous visual spreads with details and trivia about classic novels and their authors.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes



★ The Library of Esoterica: Astrology by Andrea Richards et al
Taschen, 383657988X

A vibrant visual history of Western astrology, exploring the symbolic meaning behind more than 400 images ranging from illuminated manuscripts to contemporary art.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes



Christmas

The Very Merry Murder Club edited by Serena Patel and Robin Stevens. Farshore.

The Very Merry Murder Club is a diverse collection of short mysteries, murders and frosty adventures for middle graders with a fun hidden cover under the dust jacket. Since it’s an anthology of different authors, the quality of the stories does vary and the first story with an autistic lead is the real standout.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes



‘Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore, illustrated by P. J. Lynch. Candlewick.

The classic Christmas verse in an elegant picture book edition with atmospheric watercolor illustrations.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes



The Christmas Pig by J. K. Rowling, illustrated by Jim Field. Hachette.

The Christmas Pig is a lovely tale about the special power that favorite toys have when we are children. It’s a very cute story with illustrations by Jim Field and the hardback has a lovely gold embossed design on the boards under the dust jacket.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes


The Christmas Carrolls by Mel Taylor-Bessent, illustrated by Selom Sunu. HarperCollins.

A middle grade novel about the world’s most Christmassy family as they spread cheer and the magic of friendship. The Waterstones exclusive has stencilled decorations on red sprayed page edges.

→ Buy sprayed edges edition from Waterstones (*limited stock)

→ Buy standard edition from Amazon | Book Depository 


Literary Gift Ideas

★ The Wild Cards by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris
Penguin

100 beautiful postcards with watercolor nature images from the poetry and picture books The Lost Words and The Lost Spells.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes



★ Embossed Leather Journals 

These simply delightful leather journals have a detailed embossed floral motif over the front and back covers (they have plain ones too). The paper signatures are sewn in, although probably not acid-free. They even come already gift wrapped! Lots of people are reselling them on social media (they drop shop from China), but I’ve linked the direct source below for some excellent savings.

→ Buy journal from AliExpress